How disappointing! I remember reading this book many years ago and enjoying it very much. O deah. I'm still an sf/fantasy addict, and this genre has definitely come of age, with wonderful writers such as Robyn Hobbs and Peter Hamilton showing how it should be done. There were just too many problems with Lord Valentine's Castle for me to swallow - for instance, the basic plot revolves around a mind/body swap; the usurping villain has taken over Valentine's body and flung his mind into another one whilst wiping his memory. Two problems here immediately - one, what has become of the villain's body? Never even addressed in the novel. Second, why Valentine wasn't simply killed was never very satisfactorily explained. It's still quite a good adventure story nonetheless, until Valentine finally starts gathering an army to reclaim his inheritance; I couldn't stop worrying how on earth these thousands of soldiers were being fed while they were on the march . . . All too simplistic, Mr Silverberg, and I won't bother with the sequels. Still, very interesting to revisit these "classics"; I've also re-read a couple of John Brunner's - Telepathist and Nightwings, which I remember being entranced with. o deah. Think I'll stick with the modern stuff.